Dj-ing, producing, modelling and now designing. Wow, we want some of those Ronson genes.
t5m were fortunate enough to catch up with Charlotte Ronson, the eldest of the Ronson clan, as she releases her first collection on this side of the Atlantic in none other than fashion mecca, Harrods. Charlotte has already taken the States by storm with her various collections, be it for her high-end Charlotte Ronson label, or her diffusion lines for Urban Outfitters (yes, we wanted to own all of it) and JC Penny – so it’s about time she bought her effortless, feminine chic to these shores.
Her S/S 09 collection is all pretty pinks, flirty frills and punky, yet girly, wedges - and there’s no doubt London girls with a taste for the sugary sweet will snap it up. But it was her A/W, or ‘fall’ as she calls it, lines that have attracted the real attention – and saw her in the prestigious Bryant Park tents of January’s New York Fashion Week for a second time.
The collection was hailed as her best yet, and when I ask Charlotte if she agrees, she replies ‘absolutely – it’s my favourite. I absolutely love it’. The collection represented a real departure from her previous form – it was sexy, edgy and a tad gothic (the models were anaemic pale with blood red lips) – with lots of cut out leather, studs and hardcore boots.
‘It was really important to do something different; I was in the tents, I needed to step my game up. I wanted it to be sexy, to be edgy – but at the same time, I wanted it to be practical. It’s Fall, in New York you need be cute and warm. No one looks cute sick in bed’.
Citing both ‘Art Deco’ and ‘War Time’ as her inspiration, we asked Charlotte why she thought these would translate into a collection. ‘I was basically designing for that 1940s war-time girl. We are all that war-time girl, struggling with recession. I wanted there to be a durability and a wearability to the collection. Leather will last.
So she was designing with the recession in mind? ‘Oh yes,’ she exclaims, ‘people are buying stuff that lasts, what with everything we read about in the papers.’
Her awareness that not everyone can afford a $300 plus price tag led to diffusion ranges with both Urban Outfitters and JC Penny. ‘I wanted my designs to be accessible, true to my aesthetic and still high quality, but affordable. We’re talking $30 in JC Penny. It’s important to me that everyone can wear my designs. Look at the Oscars, there was no bling, all very simple, very classic. Its important right now. JC Penny is really important to me’.
Any dream collaborations? ‘Oh my god, Topshop! I love Topshop! Topshop America, Topshop London. I love that store’ she says, her eyes widening with enthusiasm. And Charlotte’s love for London fashion doesn’t end there, ‘Even though I was madly busy during London Fashion Week, and got sick after New York, I just loved Luella’s collection. And Christopher Kane. He is amazing. London is a great city for fashion – I always feel so guilty when I am away from home. I miss my family all the time, it’s crazy’.
Before we say goodbye, I ask her to pick out her favourite pieces from her S/S collection. She goes for an outrageously skimpy, indigo denim cut-out dress, ‘If this were black, or sequined, it would be hoochie’ she laughs, ‘but it’s denim, you could wear a cardigan with this and no one would ever know’.
We’re looking forward to getting a Charlotte Ronson boutique in London soon (there are already fourteen in Japan). Ronson world-domination continues – watch this space.